I see Donna Yates ( Goodbye commenting! November 17, 2012 ), pestered by spambotters, has decided to disable comments on her blog. She also says that very few of her readers have been responding with comments anyway. It is very similar over here. I do not at the moment intend disabling comments, it's nice to hear from those who say they enjoyed reading something I'd tapped out on my keyboard, or agree with me. Even more welcome, most of the time, are those who say they do not agree with what I said. The whole point of putting this stuff up is to see how well it stands up in the face of alternative views. I think it's valuable when the confrontation of ideas takes place within the pages here, rather than between my pages and somebody else's the other end of the internet. Ms Yates suggests:
Disabling comments does not mean I do not want to hear from you. I really do! [...] This just means you have to email me with comments, corrections, and ideas.But that of course means that the exchange is private and not public. Surely the whole point of the blogging and disseminating information, thoughts and opinions of "antiquities matters" is that a public debate is very much needed, and we should be doing everything possible to promote it. It is very much in the interests of the Black Hat Guys that there should be no debate, that is what they crave. Comments stay open and congruent and conflicting views from real people are still welcome here.